Christian Leadership

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Last week I was on a course, and as part of it the group were invited to look at Christian leadership. One of the questions posed was;

‘Is there a difference, in a professional setting, between good leadership, and Christian leadership that is good?’

It made me reflect a lot on the qualities of a Christian leader, as well as the challenge of working in a setting that does not always recognise the values inherent in Gospel living.

Then today I was talking to someone about leadership as service, they were sharing a recent experience they had of someone in a position of authority really living their leadership in an inspiring way. The conversation made me reflect on how I express leadership, authority and power in my own life.

6 Responses to “Christian Leadership”

  1. clarefcj Says:

    Thanks for the reflection Lynne – it’s important to stop and reflect on the witness we give as leaders isn’t it? A very wise woman who had been a religious leader for many years once said to me that every evening she stopped to look back on her day and she would ask herself “where have I misused power today?” If she felt that she had used power wrongly she would do all she could to put that situation right. I was very struck by those words and it made me stop and reflect on my own life and on the way I relate to others. The leadership roles I have are very simple ones but even so I am aware of the importance of being the right kind of leader and of living according to the example given by Jesus. It’s not for nothing that Jesus told us “I have come not to be served but to serve”. The greatest leaders in my life have been those who have led by example and who have been willing to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty along with the rest of us. To me, that is being “Christlike”.

  2. Catherine fcj Says:

    Thank you Lynn and Clare for your reflections on Christian leadership. I was interested in the question Lynne had been given –
    ‘Is there a difference, in a professional setting, between good leadership, and Christian leadership that is good?’ I am always surprised, although I shouldn’t be, at the comments of new staff in our schools on the atmosphere and ethos in the school, due in no small part to the the experience of Christian leadership.

    The phrase Clare highlighted to ask ourselves “where have I misused power today?” struck me too. Wouldn’t it be good to ask ourselves this every evening in the Examen whatever/wherever our day had taken us

  3. clarefcj Says:

    Good idea Catherine – if we stop and reflect at the end of the day on how we have used our power. Sometimes I stop and ask myself: “Did that person agree with me because she really agreed – or did she feel she had to agree?” Sometimes I feel ashamed at my lack of sensitivity to others and how powerless they might feel. It’s a good thing if we challenge each other…and help each other grow as servant leaders.

  4. Bonnie Moser fcJ Says:

    Many thanks for the on-going discussion on leadership … a topic close to my heart as I believe it is important to empower leadership wherever we find the opportunity. Leadership is often connotated in terms of having a named responsibility with others accountable to the leader in some way, but leadership for me is much more expansive! This morning I had a wonderful conversation with one of our cooks in the kitchen … yesterday at our FCJ Centre 150 animated students were served lunch very easily and happily. This person empowers others to engage and work together at their best.
    I invite you to take some time to reflect on these quotes on leadership and empowerment.
    The growth and development of people is the highest calling
    of leadership.
    -Harvey S. Firestone
    The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more
    followers.
    -Ralph Nadar
    Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only
    thing.
    -Albert Schweitzer

  5. wolf rhino Says:

    – Example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only
    thing. -Albert Schweitzer

    This is pretty powerful and so fitting. You can’t say that you are a good leader, but not a good example to others. Being a good leader and being a good example come hand in hand. And part of being an example is being part of the community that is being led. I totally agree with Clare – The greatest leaders in my life have been those who have led by example and who have been willing to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty along with the rest of us. To me, that is being “Christlike”.- So true.

    Thanks for the post!

  6. clarefcj Says:

    Thanks Wolf…I am very struck by your point that you can’t be a good leader without being a good example to others. It’s a reminder to me that what I do says so much more than what I say, or what I say I do! You have given me something to reflect on and to use for my examination of conscience at the end of the day…”What kind of an example was I to others?”

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